In this report, I will be assessing the potential for cultural and heritage tourism within the borough of Hackney. I will support my findings with theoretical models and research. Hackney is a diverse and multicultural borough within London and is one which has undergone massive recreation in the recent years. Hackney used to be known as an area which had high crime rates and massive social problems, however over the past years, parts of Hackney have gone through major developments and is now very fashionable with a thriving artistic scene in the south of the borough. The borough is also known for its wide green areas with Hackney Marshes (88 football pitches) being the most famous. Hackney recently become the hot spot for tourists and locals as the 2012 London Summer Olympics took place. Many of the big events occurred nearby the Olympic Stadium, VeloPark, as well as the media building.
Stamford Hill has the largest Jewish community in London and Europe, which provides the borough with a very different cultural experience for its tourists to visit and experience the diversity which cannot be found anywhere else in Britain or Europe. Throughout this report, I will be assessing the service qualities of various tourist destinations and other visitor services which are available for tourists.
Assessing Cultural and heritage resources (300):
I have reported my findings from the trip I took to Hackney and noticed that Hackney has various historic and cultural areas. There is a range of historic and archaeological resources currently available in the borough, I have listed the top attractions in the table below which I noticed whilst at the borough. Upon completing my research, I found out that Hackney also has untapped resources that could potentially play an important part in cultural and heritage tourism.
Hackney Historic Building Trust
Victorian Music Hall
The building Exploratory
Tower of church of Saint Augustine
Hackney City farm
Hackney Town hall
East London Art Walks
Hackney has many untapped resources that could play a vital part in the development of its cultural and heritage tourism if they were developed and rehabilitated. By personally visiting the borough and researching, I found that there are not a lot of landmark hotels present within Hackney which is something that needs to be present if they were to develop as a cultural and heritage tourist area. There were hotels present in the borough ranging from ratings of 1 star to maximum 3 stars. However, they were not well known and the customer services were very poor in most of the hotels. Conducting my research, I also noticed that Hackney did not have many cinemas in them for young tourists. The main cinema present currently in the borough is "Hackney Picturehouse".
There are many reasons why tourists are drawn to visit an area; some are to experience the cultural heritage, some for its rich historical aspect and some even for the artistic side of the area. Well Hackney falls under all these features as it is a borough that has many cultural influences and benefits from diversity. Hackney is home to more artists than anywhere else in Europe, the borough benefits from a beating mind of creativity. From the digital businesses that form tech city to the contemporary fine artists that are breathing art and life into the industrial sites within Hackney Wicks and Shoreditch. The art scenes can be experienced and visited through the galleries, exhibitions, performances and shows that are scattered all over the borough. By personally visiting the area, I didn't know where to look in terms of art; there were over 600 individual venues that host the work of many artists. So in terms of creativity, hackney is by far the best borough that expresses this. I have categorised the attractions in Hackney into 3 subcategories as shown below.
Attraction tourists learn about after arrival
Local interest but not tourist attraction
London Olympic Park - conversion Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Dalston square event
London fields Lido
Hackney City farm
An assessment of service quality:
In this section of the report, I will be assessing the service quality of the main top visitor attractions available in Hackney. I will be assessing the attractions using the factors below:
Are the visitor attractions designed to educate and engage visitors?
Are exhibits visually appealing and interactive?
Are sites accessible to the public?
Are attractions open daily or only occasionally?
Are there organised tours and printed maps easily available to tourists?
Are attractions easy to find?
Can they accommodate visitors?
After assessing each of the visitor attractions using the factors above, I will be able to give an accurate opinion on whether Hackney has potential for tourism.
Organised tours and printed maps
Exhibits visually appealing + interactive
Olympic Park conversion Queen Elizabeth park
Opens July 2013.
The park will have blue badge parking spaces, accessible toilets, accessible changing facilities, wheelchair accessible baby changing facilities, sound reinforcement system (induction loop), wheelchair accessible viewing spaces,
Tues, Weds, Fri: 9.30am - 5.30pm. Thur: 9.30am - 8pm, Sat: 10am - 5pm. Closed: Sun, Mon and Bank Holidays.
Upon visiting the museum, it is on the ground floor, and is fully level, with level access.
There were disabled parking spaces at the front of the building (on Reading Lane).
The museum also had a wheelchair accessible toilet.
Hackney Broadway Market
Over 100 stalls within the Market. Open Mon-Fri from 8am-5pm. Saturdays 9am-5pm. Sunday: closed.
Upon visiting the market, it is street level, wheelchair access is simply. However, did notice some cracks and damages to the street. Wheelchair parking also available on the opposite street.
The cinema opens 15 minutes before the start of the first film each day.
A lift provides access to all levels of the building.
The venue also has special seating for disabled customers upon advance booking. The cinema does not have its own parking on site, but there are parking bays for blue badge holders across the road from the cinema. There is five accessible toilets available in the cinema (all fitted with emergency alarms)
An assessment of other visitor services (300):
In this section of the report, I will be assessing the basic elements that visitors expect when coming to Hackney, e.g. places to eat, transport, signage, parking, etc. I will state the variety of resources available in the borough, and assess the levels of service they provide.
Selection of places to eat?
Offer some variety of cuisine and prices?
Local restaurants that serve local food?
Local restaurants that serve local food?
Restaurants & Cafes
shops sell products that interest visitors?
Identifiable shopping district?
Visitors buy wide variety of products?
Are some products indigenous or locally made?
Hackney is poorly served by London Underground services: Only Manor House, located on its extreme north-western fringe on the boundary with Haringey, though Old Street sits only a few metres south-west of Hackney in Islington.
However, two London Overground lines serve Hackney: the North London Line crosses from west to east while the East London Line runs from Highbury & Islington and passes through Dalston Junctionand on south through Haggerston, Hoxton, Shoreditch towards destinations south of the River Thames, including Crystal Palace, Croydon, and New Cross.
Additionally National Rail's Lea Valley Lines also pass through Hackney, with stations at London Fields, Hackney Downs, Rectory Road, Stoke Newington, Stamford Hill, and Clapton.
It is proposed that Crossrail 2, the 'Chelsea-Hackney Line', would provide a direct Underground service to Hackney Central, Dalston and Homerton, although it is currently undecided whether this would be built as London Underground or main line specifications.
A busy sunset over Graham Road (with some contrails), Hackney Central (19 September 2005-3 days before the autumnal equinox)
North London Line Travelling west to east - nearest London Overground stations are Dalston Kingsland , Hackney Central , Homerton and Hackney Wick
East London Line Travelling north to south - nearest London Overground stations are Dalston Junction , Haggerston , Hoxton and Shoreditch High Street
Lea Valley Lines
These stations are served by Greater Anglia:
Stamford Hill railway station
Stoke Newington railway station
Rectory Road railway station
Clapton railway station
Hackney Downs railway station
London Fields railway station